This is my time…..

The last few weeks have been riddled with constant change and lots of travel.  I have had a couple failed to depart plane trips to remote parts of PNG due to lack of space or weather.  I have also made two trips for several days each to the coastal city of Lae to search for and buy supplies for our team.  Each time I travel anywhere in this country the sheer beauty of God’s creation is paramount, however the country never fails to surprise me and live up to its name “the land of the unexpected”.  To travel to the coast there is only one road and it is called the Highlands Highway.  I wouldn’t personally call it a highway, more of a minimum maintenance road, however that is the only access to get goods in or out of our area (other than airplane).  From Goroka to Lae it is about 190 miles in distance, however it can take anywhere from 6-9 hours one way….or possibly days, if it closes.  There are constant landslides, bridges failing, trees blocking the road, accidents, washouts, and the road is just riddled with pot holes.  While that sounds exciting to the adventure seeker…..I am not much on seeking thrills, so it is not the most fun drive to say the least.  One thing I commonly have run into the places I have traveled to is a common attitude by people that sounds like “This is my time”.  What it means is this is my chance, the opportunity has been given to me, this might be the only time this happens for me.  Now how this plays out is when anyone of the of the above listed horrific circumstances occur on the road the people around it try to take full advantage of anything that can benefit them or their family line.  It is never just one or two people, but generally dozens or it can be quite intimidating for those who have not experienced it.  Now this is not to talk down of these people because while it looks different we do the very same things.....just in different maybe more subtle contexts. It could be in the context of work, friends, family, or simply going about our daily routine....but the mentality of just waiting for an opportunity so it can change to benefit “me”. 
One example from the last trip is the picture above….as we were driving, the water had washed out the road and made it nearly impassable.  Buses, semi-trucks, and anyone traveling comes to a stop, including me.  The closest village or line of people will come out and demand money…..”this is my time”.  They will often obstruct any attempts to fix the road as they see it as their opportunity to make money.  There is no one situation that is the same however with this one my truck was loaded down with lots of expensive cargo and as a white person I do not blend and can create quite the ruckus in a situation like this.  I weaved through stalled traffic and made it to the first people demanding money.  I gave them some as I wanted to keep my windows in tact…as rocks can fly very quickly.  I saw the condition a head and was told there was no way as the other side vehicles were stuck in the mud and blocking every part of the road.  I said a quick prayer, put the truck in 4 wheel drive and let it buck.  By God's grace, I made it on the other side and away from all the people.  While thankfully this is not an everyday occurrence for me it does happen routinely here.  I spent the rest of the long drive home….dodging potholes….and thinking about this mentality, “This is my time”.  It occurred to be that we very seldom seize the opportunities God gives us to bring Him glory and honor.  Instead we choose the path of humanity to look at the opportunity before us and say “this is my time…….what can I get out of this?”  My challenge is the next road block that happens in your life……just like our roads here it is not if…but when.  Decide now to say “This is my time……to serve Jesus Christ to the best of my ability regardless of the outcome”.  I can guarantee the outcome will be far greater that you or I can comprehend even though we may not be able to see it at the time.  Just keep driving towards the finish line!
You never know how deep the pot holes are when water fills them can certainly grow your prayer life if you need a boost in the area!
It is a bonus to follow someone else at times because they are a depth finder...


  1. Very interesting and enlightening piece. The rather appropriate question to ask in the circumstances would be "why do these people behave the way they behave? It could a combination of many factors some of which are; no law and order (police) at that material time, decaying ethical and moral responsibility towards humanity, non-christians, too lazy, could not afford, opportunists etc.. 30 years ago when I was a child, the people living along this particular highway were so polite and helpful. If you had a tyre puncture for instance or a problem with your vehicle, these people would assist you, give you food and shelter until such time help came. That attitude has changed profoundly. One important factor is that development has brought more poverty than assistance. People who are educated advance in life while others remain poor creating more inequality. 30 years ago it was different, people were all equal and there was no need to steal. They had everything. This had changed. I believe the work of God must continue to change the attitude of this people. Kindly continue the good work..


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